A media relations representative for the Salvation Army now has a media nightmare on his hands after making some controversial remarks on an Australian radio show tailored for a gay audience.
It all began when Serena Ryan and Pete Dillon, hosts of Australian radio program "Salt and Pepper," began questioning their guest Major Andrew Craibe over the Salvation Army's stance on homosexuality.
Ryan first referenced a section of the Salvation Army's doctrine that says those who practice homosexuality "deserve to die," and asked Craibe, an official spokesman for the Salvation Army (a Christian-based non-profit dedicated to providing for those in need), for his thoughts.
"Well, that’s a part of our belief system," Craibe responded.
"So we should die," Ryan said.
"You know, we have an alignment to the Scriptures, but that’s our belief," Craibe replied.
The doctrine in question can be found in "Salvation Story: Salvationist Handbook of Doctrine," as reported by The Atlantic:
For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error. . .
They know God’s decree, that those who practise such things deserve to die — yet they not only do them but even applaud others who practise them.
Since that interview, another Salvation Army spokesman has been left to clean up after Craibe's messy media blunder. Major Bruce Harmer said the comments were "extremely regrettable."
In a statement, Harmer added that the Salvation Army does "not believe, and would never endorse, a view that homosexual activity should result in any form of physical punishment."
He also insisted the passage refers to "spiritual death" and not physical death (though we're not really sure that would go over any better with the gay community).
You can listen to the full interview below.